Kira and Kendra Power are not year-round swimmers, but that hasn’t stopped them from being significant contributors to the West Windsor Whalers.
The Power girls closed their summer of competitive swimming by helping the Whalers place fourth in Division I at the Princeton Area Swimming and Diving Association Championship on July 26. The sisters scored top points for the Whalers’ older age groups.
“Kendra is also a good soccer player and so she balances that in the summer. They’ve always been very strong, within the top of their age group,” said Whalers head coach Katie Welsh.
“Kira was on the good relay with Abbey (Berloco) and Annie (Menninger) last year. She was the backstroker in the medley. She would stay right up with them. For not being a year-round swimmer, she’s definitely a sprinter.”
Kendra was second in the girls 14-and-under 50-yard breast in 37.59 seconds, just off her seed time. She was fifth in the girls 14U 50 free in 28.02 and took sixth in the girls 14U 50 back in 36.58.
Kira was second in the girls 18-and-under 50 free in 27.23, she was third in the girls 18U 50 breast in 36.06 and fourth in the girls 18U 50 back in a season best of 32.61.
“I was pretty happy with what I did,” Kira said. “This summer both of us really improved with our times. Overall, I’m pretty proud of my performances.”
The sisters signed up for the team at the same time five years ago because they had friends that swam, and they were looking for something new to do in the summer. They loved it from the outset and have returned to compete for the Whalers every year, and now are team leaders for the younger swimmers.
“We definitely like to help out with them,” Kira said. “We get to be role models. We give them something they can look forward to being when they get older. We cheer them on and motivate them.”
The highlight of their summer swimming has been the final meet of the season—the PASDA Championships, which brings all the league’s teams together to compete in their divisions.
“I look forward to it,” Kendra said. “We get to pick our favorite strokes to do. Each year, we’re improving in the standings.”
The Whalers scored 1,492.5 points for fourth at the PASDA Championships to finish ahead of the Hamilton Hurricanes and Trenton Country club. Community Park won, Flemington-Raritan was second and the Lawrenceville Swim Association took third.
“We had 66 swimmers sign up for championships,” Welsh said. “We had about 123 on the team. It was a little less than expected, but I understand because it’s a Monday and Tuesday and parents work and I think that brings on a challenge for them. The kids that came out are kids you see each year and there are a few new faces, which is always nice because they’ve made friends that are year-round. I think that’s the best thing you can ask for – is getting more kids exposed and enjoying it and making new friends.”
“We wanted the kids to swim the best that they could,” Welsh said. “What was challenging from a yards-perspective was we only had one other meet in yards against Community Park. A lot of the times we used were conversions. A lot of them had time drops, and they did quite well. It’s hard with the little kids because they’re inconsistent. When we see the conversions and look at what their times were, we were generally impressed by what they did.
Welsh is optimistic about next summer. Most of this year’s swimmers are eligible to return, and the Power girls are among those expecting to come back again. That’s good news for the Whalers, who need their contributions in the older age groups throughout the regular season and at the PASDA Championships.
“They did well,” Welsh said. “They’re both racers. If they know they have competition in the pool, they’ll go after it.”